Sunday, March 30, 2008

Best of this Week Summary 25 March - 30 March 2008

  • What is required to start building an RIA + SOA application, and how you could enable these activities. A potential answer could the Appcelerator platform mentioned in the article.

  • Nice collection of open source software testing tools (and news and discussion :-). These are the listed Javascript unittesting tools.

  • For the coders: the number of types in the .NET framework visualized (I know, I know, .NET but it's a nice insight anyway ;-)

  • Comparison of performance on many browsers of the Backbase Javascript engine and some widgets. In general interesting to see how these browsers compare. Includes IE8, Firefox 3 Nightly Build and Safari Nightly Build.

  • Three open source SOAP testing tools compared: Eviware SoapUI 1.6, PushToTest TestMaker, and WebInject's WebInject. Conclusion: The writer prefers "[...] the middle balance struck by soapUI. The skeletal tests created by soapUI's wizard were easier to flesh out than those built by TestMaker. And, if I needed to do something elaborate and off the wall, I could always call upon soapUI's Groovy capabilities – funny name aside, they do their job well." "In terms of how these products compare to commercial Web service testing tools, I'd say it's a mixed bag. They are, of course, inexpensive (free), and work well for easy to moderately-difficult jobs; on the other hand, they're somewhat less user-friendly than commercial tools and if you need to do something complex, you have to build it yourself."

  • Five commercial SOAP testing tools compared: AdventNet's QEngine, Crosscheck Networks SOAPSonar, iTKO’s LISA, Mindreef's SOAPscope Server, and Parasoft's SOAtest. Conclusion: "If your testing involves more than just Web services, and your development is primarily Java, then tools such as LISA or SOAtest are worth considering [...]. If, however, you are only interested in SOAP-based Web service testing, and your QA staff is relatively new to the technology, SOAPscope is the obvious choice." But maybe you want to let it depend on how you want to build the tests: by coding or visually with a GUI? This is what SOAPSonar, LISA, and SOAPscope have done. The writer favors coding tests and SOATest came out as winner.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Best of this Week Summary 17 March - 24 March 2008

  • What should you use in your SOA project: a BPEL process or an ESB?

  • Part 4 in a series on SOA Design: why and how you should use canonical models in SOA. "The canonical data model defines the structure of an organization's information."

  • SpringSource just released their SpringSource Tool Suite. Notice that it is different from Spring IDE. For example it helps you find common pitfalls and best Spring best-practices violations.

  • Yahoo! has released new performance best practices for building webpages.

  • Ways how you can run Firefox 3 beta 4 and Internet Explorer 8 while still being able to easily switch back to FF2 and IE 7.

  • The new OpenHub spec version 1.1 from the OpenAjax Alliance now also includes IBM's contributed Secure Mashup framework (SMash). SMash provides for secure handling of third-party mashup components. OpenHub can be used by developers to "integrate multiple toolkits within the same Web page while toolkit developers can use it to allow toolkits to talk to other toolkits."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Setup and Installation Ubuntu Development Environment with VMWare Part 2

This is the second post in my series on how to setup a development environment on Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) with VMWare 6.02. In this post I'll be detailing how I setup Eclipse 3.3 (Europa), thus with WTP and PDT. I'll also describe my experiences with Europa 3.2 (Callisto), because I tried that too, in case I couldn't get 3.2 working...

Install Sun Java JDK 5

Since I want to use Java 5 in Eclipse, I first installed the JDK via: 'sudo apt-get install sun-java5-jdk', which installs it in /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.5.0.sun. Make sure you use the Java 5 JDK by setting it via "sudo update-alternatives --config java'.

Install Eclipse 3.2 Callisto with WTP

Installation of Eclipse 3.3 is not supported via the repositories. But first I wanted to try to get 3.2 running anyway.
Step 1 - Installation steps Eclipse 3.2 and setup JDK
Substep 1a - Installed Eclipse 3.2 Callisto via 'sudo apt-get install eclipse' and that worked fine.
Substep 1b - I then installed WTP via Eclipse's own Software Updates mechanism. You might want to install it to "/usr/local/lib/eclipse" to make the plugins available for other users. After this, you can find Eclipse 3.2 in the menu Applications/Programming/Eclipse.
Substep 1c - Then set JDK 5 in Eclipse as the one to use (instead of the default GCJ; is not the greatest performance wise apparently).

Install Eclipse 3.2 Callisto with PDT

Apparently it is not really supported, see here and here. So I did try it for a bit but gave up when I found those two statements.

Install Eclipse 3.3 Europa with WTP and PDT

Since I couldn't get it to work with 'get-apt' nor by downloading the .gz, extracting and setting symbolic links to give all users access to it, I followed these steps, which only make it available for the current user:
Step 2 - Installation of Eclipse 3.3 Europa
Substep 2a - Followed the steps in the User Installation section. I used the zip from here.
Substep 2b - Added WTP as I also did above for 3.2. Select what you want. don't forget: expand nodes otherwise 'Get Required' won't search in them!! I also let the plugins installed in the default (Eclipse installation) directory, because we only want the plugins for this special 3.2 version.
Substep 2c - Installed the PDT plugins as described here. It was complaining missing required ODA runtime 1.5.1. To fix that I manually had to select the appropriate checkbox, see screenshot below.

Issues resolved

One problem I was having is that after starting up Ubuntu it always gave the message "There was an error loading the theme Human. Can't open file /usr/share/gdm/themes/Human/Human.xml". I tried changing it in the menu System/Preferences/Themes, but again it showed up. I also tried 'sudo apt-get human-theme', but after reboot the message still appeared. Then I tried removing and adding the feisty themes as mentioned here: 'sudo apt-get remove feisty-gdm-themes' and 'sudo apt-get install feisty-gdm-themes'. Of course I first made a VMWare snapshot before trying this! Actually, the 'remove' said I didn't have the themes installed. And indeed, after a reboot, the message was gone!

Best of this Week Summary 03 March - 09 March 2008

  • Good article on Premature Code Optimization and the often made (invalid) conclusion: 'as a developer I don't need to optimize until the code is finished'.

  • Practical use of Java in four web conferencing products described. Including integration with Flash.

  • A talk with the director of engineering at Google about OpenSocial. Most interesting point is that indeed OpenSocial is not to interconnect social networks. Unless they are Social Graph enabled, but there is no site that supports it yet. Google also released the Contacts API this week.

  • Related to that is Higgins: "An open identity framework designed to integrate identity, profile and social relationship information across multiple sites, applications and devices. Supports multiple identities because you don't want to use the same identity for MySpace as for your financial sites." Contributors include the big names like Google, IBM and Oracle.

Sunday, March 2, 2008